On the Fear of Intimacy

If ever there was a fear that had a justified place in the human experience, it is the fear of intimacy. This pen is not referring to sex. People have sex every day in this land and beyond without a single iota of emotional intimacy. Sex and love-making are two different worlds.

This pen is talking about emotional and intellectual intimacy. I’m talking about allowing oneself to fbe yourself with another person and trusting it is safe to do so. No relationship of any kind can be a healthy, flourishing place to be if both people can’t fully be themselves with each other. 

When you’ve absorbed enough wounds in life, such intimacy feels like an impossibility. However, because it feels like an impossibility does not mean it is one. For many of us, myself included, taking the risk of trusting is not a chump change endeavor – not by any measure. There is a close-to-my-heart saying I believe in. It’s okay to be afraid, don’t let it scare you. Meaning, if any of us wait for the fear to pass before we take the risk, we will remain stuck in place.

I have a relationship with my past wounds, my history. And, if there is one thing that gets my back up, it’s the very notion of giving my past wounds decision-making power. Yes, caution and patience are worthy allies. And with them at my side, I’ll be damned if I will allow my history to obliterate the possibility of a deeply loving relationship.

***

For G.G.

Great news! I found us!

Great news! I found us! You’ll never believe where we were! And you’ll never believe that we, so I learned, have the ability to alter our size!

So last night I go to bed and call Charley and he nestles up in bed next to me. I pick up the Tolstoy biography and start reading. Well, you know like when a dog hears something before you do? Well…Charley’s head pops up, ears perked. He hears something.  But not something outside, something from the closet next to your bureau.  Of course the first thing I think is, Sonuvabitch mice! I put the book down and listen. At first I don’t hear anything but Charley’s still all ears perked and head tipped. Then I hear it a faint sound coming from the closet. It sounds like two people giggling. Tiny giggles (which sounds like the song Don Ho never sang ’cause he probably knew better). Then there’s tiny conversation in tiny voices, not unlike the sound of your voice when Skype tampers with it. More giggles, then the giggles stop and again I hear tiny-voiced conversation…then tiny panting, tiny heavy breathing…then. Suddenly I get a little bit scared thinking maybe I’m having an acid flashback and it’s all in my head but I quickly realize that can’t possibly be because Charley’s still listening to the same thing I am and tilts his one way and then the other as he listens.

I get out of bed  and, quietly as I can, go to the closet door, take a deep breath and open it. There we are! In a tiny bed on top of the things in the closet both naked and cuddling (of course we both covered ourselves with a blanket when big me opened the door)! We looked like we usually looked, really happy together. Then I hear Charley from behind me clear his throat. I turn and look at him. Then, he speaks, in a real human voice, “As long as you two remember to live that part of yourselves and not let it disappear when yuz” (He said yuz, he’s got New Yawk roots!) “is working through the hard stuff yuz will be fine and spend the rest of your life together happy very happy! That, and make sure I’ve got me some milk bones or fawgeddaboutit.”  I said, “Say that again.” He just barked. I turned around and we were gone from the closet. I closed my eyes, shook my head, opened my eyes and I was lying in bed next to Charley with the book about Tolstoy resting on my chest. Now…I know it wasn’t a dream. In fact I know it was real, in fact I know it was a miracle. And that doesn’t surprise me because you, my beautiful angel, are a miracle – and so are we.

I love you my whole wide world.